Pulling together when faced with challenges is nothing new to Arkansans. We know it’s imperative that we share knowledge and resources to help everyone get through these uncertain times. It’s why we created this hub of resources for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on the benefits made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
We’ve weathered many storms, and together, we’ll weather this one too.
Business Assistance Resources
Provisions in the CARES Act include the Paycheck Protection Program, economic injury disaster loans and small business debt relief for existing Small Business Administration loans. A summary of these programs is available through Congress’ The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act and an FAQ regarding the Payment Protection program can be found here.
SBA Program Comparison – America’s SBDC has created a new spreadsheet which compares all of the currently available SBA programs, including the EIDL (Economic Injury) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). You can access it here.
Numerous blog posts and articles can be helpful in providing ideas on how to weather this crisis and many can be found with a quick internet search. Here’s an example of some ways you can adjust your business practices now that can help your bottom line.
Below are valuable national and local resources you can use. Many have webinars or town hall meetings to answer questions and assist you in navigating through this difficult time.
This program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
For information on federal loans, disaster assistance and other information:
For emergency response planning:
For workplace and human resources assistance:
Assistance for rural public entities like city, county and school governments and nonprofits:
Cash grants for small businesses:
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- US Senator Tom Cotton’s COVID page
- US Senator John Bozeman’s COVID page
State and Local Resources
Arkansas business information and resources:
- Arkansas Ready for Business
- Arkansas Economic Development Commission
- Little Rock Chamber
- Arkansas Bankers Association
- Arkansas State Chamber
- State of Arkansas
- Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Small Business Grant
The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas has developed a COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices Document to assist businesses with their reopening efforts here.
If you’re applying for financial assistance, you will be asked to provide a copy of your most recent utility bill. You can obtain a copy of your recent bill by logging into myEntergy. If you don’t have an account through this platform, click here to register (Entergy account number needed). If you have trouble registering, need your account number or need additional assistance, call 1-800-ENTERGY and an agent will help assist you with the registration process or obtain a mailed copy of your bill.
Employers and employees may also be interested to know that the U.S. Department of Labor recently provided additional guidance regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Act. And as it relates to filing income taxes, both the federal and state governments have extended the filing deadline to July 15. In Arkansas, the Department of Finance has provided several extensions of tax deadlines.
Although there is a lot of helpful information and resources available, remain aware and don’t fall victim to scams. In this graphic, the U.S. Office of Inspector General provides several tips on avoiding grant fraud, loan fraud or phishing.